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NFL Players Association Approves Terms of New Drug Policy, Although Still Oppressive

Posted on17. Sep, 2014 by .

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According to The Denver Post, late Friday, the NFLPA unanimously approved the terms of a new drug policy that includes the implementation of testing for Human Growth Hormone — a performance enhancing drug — as well as an increase in the threshold for testing positive for marijuana.

The agreement with the NFL and NFLPA opens up the possibility for players suspended on drug policy violations to return to the field. Cleveland.com reported that Josh Gordon, Cleveland Browns receiver, will have his suspension reduced from a season-long ban to 10 games once the new drug policy is finalized and formally approved.

“This is a historic moment for our players and our league,” NFLPA president Eric Winston said in a statement. “We have collectively bargained drug policies that will keep the game clean and safe, but also provide players with an unprecedented level of fairness and transparency. Players should be proud of their union for standing up for what was best for the game.”

Although the threshold for a positive test for marijuana will increase to 35 ng/ml from the previous 15 ng/ml, the new marijuana threshold is a standard much lower than those used in most other sports. The threshold for a positive test for marijuana should have increased to the 150 ng/ml limit — used by the World Anti-Doping Agency, which conducts Olympic athlete testing — that was originally suggested.

Moreover, the new terms of the drug policy still prove draconian given the chronic pain endured by most NFL players and the fact that, by most measures, the use of medical marijuana to relieve pain is far less harmful than the prescription painkillers that players currently rely on.

As former player Nate Jackson recently stated in a New York Times op-ed, “Virtually every single player in the NFL has a certifiable need for medical marijuana.”

In this case, the fact that players are still not permitted to use medical marijuana is inexplicable — even when 15 teams are based in states where medical marijuana can be recommended legally and most, if not all, players have a very legitimate need for it.


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NORML PAC Endorses Paul Zuckerberg for DC Attorney General

Posted on15. Sep, 2014 by .

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Screen Shot 2014-09-11 at 1.04.26 PMNORML PAC has endorsed long-time marijuana law reform supporter Paul Zuckerberg in his campaign to become the first elected Attorney General for the District of Columbia.

“DC’s unfair drug policies ruined lives, burdening thousands of young people with criminal records, and kept law enforcement from focusing their time and resources on violent crimes,” Zukerberg stated, “We’re proud to have NORML’s support in the effort to make DC’s drug policies fair for all District citizens”

“Paul Zuckerberg has long been a passionate and effective advocate for ending our nation’s failed war on marijuana,” stated NORML PAC Manager Erik Altieri, “The District would be greatly served by having him as the first elected Attorney General to guide the city towards a common sense marijuana policy.”

Paul Zuckerberg has practiced law in the District of Columbia for over 30 years and is a lifetime member of the NORML Legal Committee.

You can learn more about Paul’s campaign on his website or Facebook page. If you want to donate to support his campaign, you can do so by clicking here.

NORML Blog, Marijuana Law Reform

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Marijuana Policy Clear Winner In New Hampshire Primary Election

Posted on14. Sep, 2014 by .

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Tuesday’s primary election in New Hampshire produced remarkably positive results for those of us who care about reforming the state’s marijuana laws.

The New Hampshire Senate has been the biggest roadblock facing reformers since the House first approved a decriminalization bill in 2008. This year, with four out of 24 senators retiring, the balance of power finally appears to be tipping in our favor. Here are a couple of examples:

– In Senate District 15, reform advocate Dan Feltes (D-Concord) won by a large margin Tuesday against a candidate who was wishy-washy on marijuana policy. Feltes is now very likely to replace a retiring senator who has been, at best, a fair-weather friend on medical marijuana.

– In Senate District 12, a reform advocate won a close race against a prohibitionist. Former Rep. Kevin Avard (R-Nashua), who voted for ending marijuana prohibition in 2012, defeated a current representative who has voted against both medical marijuana and decriminalization. Avard will face incumbent Sen. Peggy Gilmour (D-Nashua), whose record has been inconsistent on marijuana policy, in November.

Finally, although Andrew Hemingway did not win the nomination for governor, he did receive a respectable 37%, despite being outspent by 10:1. In the final debate, Hemingway made a strong case for decriminalization, and eventual primary winner Walt Havenstein took an open-minded position, saying “I’m in favor of at least looking at that … I certainly would consider it.”

Many more races will be decided on November 4. We will post a general election voter guide soon.


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CO Retail Pot Sales Surpassed Medical for the First Time in July

Posted on12. Sep, 2014 by .

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sheet-of-money-hempRetail marijuana purchasers in July outspent medical cannabis buyers for the first time since the launch of Colorado’s adult-use market 9 months ago.

The state’s Department of Revenue recently reported that customers bought $ 29.7 million worth of legal marijuana last month ($ 5 million more than June), surpassing medical marijuana purchases which totaled $ 28.9 million in sales. Interestingly, this is despite the fact that medical dispensaries outnumber retail stores by a margin of 4 to 1.

According to Colorado Public Radio (CPR), there has been a 112% increase since sales first started, with more than 100 stores across the state having sold close to $ 145 million in pot. CPR further notes that, “Taken together, the medical and recreational marijuana industry have sold about $ 350 million worth of pot since January, contributing $ 37.5 million in taxes and fees to government coffers,” a portion of which is guaranteed to go to school construction.

With the exception of May, each month has set a new record in marijuana sales, so far showing that a legal marijuana regime not only works, but is proving to be valuable and growing source of revenue for the state – and its residents agree. A new NBC/Marist Poll found that Colorado’s retail cannabis market remains popular among Colorado residents, 55% of whom continue to support the passage and implementation of Amendment 64, the initiative that was passed in 2012 to tax and regulate sales to adults, aged 21 and over.

 

NORML Blog, Marijuana Law Reform

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